Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cuban Roast Pork with Lime Sauce

6 lbs pork
12 cloves garlic, crushed
1 lg onion
½ C orange juice
juice of 2 limes
½ tsp salt
1 Tbls oregano
1 Tbls cumin
black pepper to taste

Tips: pork - pork shoulder country style ribs, or pork shoulder blade roast work well, 6 lbs boneless; garlic - I like garlic. The gal I got this recipe from loves garlic. Adjust the number of cloves to suit your own taste. :)

Cut onion into large pieces. Combine all ingredients; marinate pork for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Remove pork from marinade. Place in a foil lined baking dish, fat facing up. Insert chunks of onion around the pork, and cover. Bake at 275° for 1½ - 2 hours until pork is slightly pink and still firm (not yet browned).

Open foil, increase oven heat to 375°; roast until brown (about 45 minutes). Pork should flake easily when done.

Remove pork from foil, reserving juice in a separate container for lime sauce. Wrap pork in new foil and place in slow cooker 2-3 hours.

Lime Sauce
juice of 3 limes
juice of 2 oranges
½ C juice from pork roast, strained
¼ tsp salt
pepper to taste
fresh ginger to taste
1 Tbls garlic paste (crushed garlic)
3 tsp sugar
1 Tbls corn starch

Dissolve cornstarch in 2 Tbls cold water; combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Serve over pork.

Lemon-Ricotta Cookies

2½ C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ C butter, softened
2 C sugar
2 eggs
15 oz ricotta cheese
3 Tbls lemon juice
grated zest from 1 lemon

1½ C powdered sugar
3 Tbls lemon juice
optional: lemon zest

Preheat oven to 375°.

Using an electric mixer, combine butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until well blended; add ricotta, lemon juice and zest, beating until combined. Stir in dry ingredients.

Pipe using a pastry bag, or drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake 15 minutes, until lightly golden at the edges. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheets 20 minutes.

Mix powdered sugar and lemon juice (and zest) until smooth. Spoon onto each cookie, using the back of the spoon to gently spread glaze.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Caribou Steaks with Whisky Sauce

I love the combination of citrus, shallots and mustard. But the sauce isn't appealing - the look or texture. I'd like to try it again...without the corn starch to thicken it; I'd use it as a marinade and baste with it during cooking (I'd bake or broil rather than sautéing in a fry pan).

4 caribou steaks
2 Tbsp butter; divided
1/4 C finely chopped shallots
5 crushed cranberries
1/4 C Scotch whiskey
3/4 C orange juice
2 Tbls lemon juice
2 Tbls red currant jelly
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp cornstarch
2 Tbls water

Combine 1 Tbls butter, shallots and berries in a sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until shallots soften. Add Scotch whiskey and heat until just boiling. Stir in orange juice, lemon juice, jelly and mustard. Heat until boiling. Combine cornstarch with water. Stir into sauce; cook until thickened and set aside.

In a frying pan melt the remaining butter and saute the steaks. Do not overcook. Serve immediately with sauce.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tangerine Crème Brûlée

3 eggs
5 egg yolks
½ C tangerine juice
½ C sugar
2½ C heavy whipping cream
½ C finely shredded tangerine zest
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix eggs, yolks, tangerine juice, and ¼ cup sugar in a medium bowl until blended. In a medium saucepan,heat cream and zest over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until just about to boil. Remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes. Reheat cream until almost boiling again; add hot cream to the egg mixture and little at a time, stirring constantly.

Add salt and vanilla to hot custard mixture; stir to combine. Pour custard through fine meshed strainer. Preheat oven to 350°.

Place 8 6-oz ramekins in a roasting pan and divide custard evenly (about ½ cup each). Add enough boiling water into roasting pan to come 3/4 up the sides of the ramekins. Cover pan with foil.

Bake until just set (about 20 minutes - check earlier as ovens differ). Remove custards from water bath and let cool about 20 minutes. Chill custards 4 hours.

Sprinkle 2 tsp sugar evenly over each custard. Use a kitchen blowtorch to melt and set sugar topping. Serve immediately.

If you have a gas broiler, the custard tops can be broiled, as close to the heating element as possible without touching. Not as good as with a blowtorch, but a suitable alternative.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Beet Gratin

6 medium-sized beets (red, yellow, white...)
3 Tbls butter
2 Tbls minced shallot
2 Tbls flour
2 C milk
4 oz crumbled sweet blue cheese
(Roquefort, Point Reyes, etc.)

trim beets and place in a deep pot, cover with cold water aand 1 Tbls salt. Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer until they are soft and easily fall when stabbed with a thin life. Strain beets; cool to room temperature. While they cool...

Heat a medium saucepan and add butter; when sizzling, add shallot and saute until soft, but not brown. Add flour and whisk over medium-heat. slowly add milk and whisk until thickened. Remove from heat and add blue cheese. Whisk until incorporated and season with salt and pepper; cover and set aside.

When beets are cool, rub skins off and cut beets into bite-sized pieces. Preheat oven broiler placing rack 3-4 inches below the flame. Lay beets in a single layer in a baking dish (or individual ramekins). Spoon the béchamel (the white sauce with shallots) over beets, taking care not to drown them. Place gratin dish under flame until bubbling and well browned. Remove and serve immediately.

Garnish with any of the following: julienned beet greens, arugula, tossed greens tossed lightly in a simple vinaigrette, crisped prosciutto, crisp fried shallots...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sesame-Ginger Marinade

1 Tbls sesame seeds, toasted
2 tsp grated ginger root
2 Tbls honey
2 Tbls soy sauce
4 skinned, boned chicken breast halves, or pork chops, beef steaks, etc.

Combine first 4 incredients in a small bowl. Marinate meat 1-4 hours before baking or broiling. Or: Grill meat basting frequently with sesame-ginger sauce.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

COOL BEANS: White-Bean and Tomato Bruschetta

4 oz sliced pancetta
3 Tbls olive oil
1 C chopped onion
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 C dry white wine
1 (15 oz) can white beans
2 C lightly packed spinach leaves
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 loaf Italian bread

Chop spinach leaves. Rinse and drain white beans; drain diced tomatoes.

Fry pancetta in 1 Tbls oil in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp; drain on paper towel and break into small pieces. Set aside. (Pancetta is a seasoned, Italian bacon. Not at all hard to find even here in the States, but you could substitute ham or other bacon. Not exactly the same...but a reasonable substitute.)

Add remaining oil, onion and rosemary to skillet; cook over medium heat about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil; boil 1 minute. Stir in beans, reduce heat to low, cover, simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in spinach, tomato, salt and pepper (to taste). Cover and let stand while toasting bread.

Slice bread on the diagonal and toast: Arrange bread slices ona baking sheet adn place under broiler. Toast on one side until golden (about 2 minutes); turn bread and toast second side.

Stir bean mixture and spread on toasts; sprinkle with reserved pancetta.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

The original recipe was for a "Coffee Banana Smoothie", but I can't stand coffee. For those of you who DO drink coffee...use ½ C cold coffee and 2 tsp sugar instead of the chocolate syrup.

1 banana
1 C milk
1/3 C chocolate syrup*
½ C ice

Peel and slice banana. Place all ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth. Enjoy!

* I used Myrtle's Hot Fudge Sauce - thinned down with some extra milk.

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Chicken works great, but so would pork, ham...

1 (10 - 11 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1/3 C water
3/4 C uncooked long-grain rice
2 C fresh or frozen vegetables
½ tsp onion powder
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
½ C shredded cheddar cheese

Stir together soup, water, rice, vegetables and onion powder in a casserole baking dish. Top with chicken. Season chicken as desired. Cover

Bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until done. Uncover and top with cheese for the last 5-10 minutes.

Crab Eggs Benedict

Yes..that's ham, not crab, in the photo. The recipe was from a seafood focus in a magazine, and crab would be a rich and delicious alternative, but what I had on hand today was the traditional ham. :)'s the hollandaise that really makes eggs benedict 'eggs benedict'!

6 egg yolks
1/4 C lemon juice
2 Tbls Dijon mustard
1 C melted butter
1½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne
6 English muffins
3 C crab
12 eggs

Preheat oven to 450°

Make hollandaise sauce: Put egg yolks, lemon juice and mustard in a double boiler over simmering hot water. Whisk to blend. Continue whisking constantly while adding butter in a slow steady stream. Cook sauce until it reaches 140°, then adjust heat to maintain temperature. Add salt, pepper and cayenne and continue whisking until smooth and thick (about 3 minutes).

Toast English muffins. Top with crab meat, dividing evenly.

Poach eggs: Bring 1" water to boil in a 12 inch skillet. Lower heat so that small bubbles form on bottom of pan and break to surface only occasionally. Crack eggs into water one at a time, holding shells close to the water's surface and letting eggs slide out gently. Poach eggs in two batches to keep them from crowding, 3-4 minutes for soft-cooked eggs. Lift eggs out with a slotted spoon, patting dry with a paper towel. Put one egg on each crab-topped muffin half. (You can simply fry the eggs if you'd rather...)

Top each egg with 2 - 3 tablespoons hollandaise.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 C butter
½ C sugar
1 C brown sugar
1 C peanut butter
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 C quick rolled oats
2½ C flour
1 tsp baking soda
12 oz chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°

Cream butter and sugars. Add peanut butter, stirring until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour, oats and baking soda all at once, stirring until well incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop by spoonfulls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned but still soft in the center.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No-Fuss Focaccia

3 Tbls olive oil; additional oil for topping bread
1½ C warm water
4 tsp (2 pkgs) active dry yeast
1¼ tsp salt
3¼ C (bread) flour
Italian seasoning or dried herbs of your choice for topping

Lightly grease a 9x13" rectangular pan...drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil in bottom of pan, tilt to coat.

Combine water with yeast. Add remaining oil, salt and flour; beat on high speed for 1 minute. Scoop sticky batter into prepared pan; cover pan and let rise at room temperature until it becomes puffy (about 90 minutes).

Preheat oven to 375°. Drizzle dough with additional olive oil, sprinkle with Italian seasoning or herbs of choice. (I also added a bit of grated parmesan.) Bake bread until golden brown (35-40 minutes). Remove from oven, let stand 5 minutes then turn out of pan. Serve warm.